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Thursday, May 13, 2010

Challenge Cup Sked Released

Kolten Olynek hopes to lead his Jr. Blades to a 2nd straight tournament championship

Can top ranked defenceman for the 1996 age group put a stop to the talented 96 born Jr. Blades forwards?

The Challenge Cup is drawing nearer with festivities to kick off at the Bill Copeland Arena with opening ceremonies at 9am PST on Friday, May 21st. The actual hockey action will commence at 12pm that same day with the Calgary Jr. Flames taking on the Cyclone Taylor Eagles. The final game of the tournament will be at 5:30pm PST on Monday, May 24th.

A quick look at the pools, which feature 4 teams in each pool suggest to me that the Pool 1-A is perhaps the strongest with 3 of the 4 teams very strong. The Calgary Jr. Flames will be the favorite in this pool with a who's who of the top 1996's in Western Canada. However, you can't overlook SPI Hockey club who has Tyler Sandhu, Alec Dawydiak and defenceman Shaun Dosanjh. All three of those key players are from the Seafair bantam program and should all be top picks in the first round next year. The other team who will battle for 2nd in the pool are the Saskathcewan Hustlin' Huskies. This pool will belong to the Calgary Jr.Flames though, not much doubt about that.

Pool 1-B has the other favorite, the Saskatoon Jr. Blades. The Jr. Blades will be led by offensive talents, Olynek, Chartier, Gardiner, Duret and Warkentine. That group of forwards are likely five of the top seven or so in Saskatchewan, in what is a very strong 96 age group there. The Saskatoon team will be pushed hard in this pool by the Vancouver Selects Blue squad. Vancouver is 3 lines deep with many of the provinces top 96 born kids including: Bamford, Virtanen, Skapski, Seto, Wozney and Painchaud up front. Baron and Stadel will anchor the backend for Vancouver. Another team in this group who could make noise are the NSD 96 Titans. They have potentially three first rounders on the roster in Brycen Martin on defence, Mumby on defence and talented offensive force Tanner MacMaster.

This tournament promisses to showcase many of the top 1996 born kids. Could we see a repeat of the Calgary Tournament final which featured the Junior Blades vs. Junior Flames? Or will Vancouver, SPI or perhaps another surprise team make some noise? Let us know your thoughts.


Anonymous said...

Who are some of the key players on the CT Eagles (Redwings) and Huskies on both forward and defence?

Western Elite said...

We'll have a full preview in our Monday newsletter. However on the Huskies, they will look to Bly, Cardiff and Freed on forward and even Dupperault. On defence, look for Jordan Harris and Brayden Park to lead the way.

Anonymous said...

Personally, I like Duperreault, Glover and Uhrich on the front end. On the back-end I think Bell and Verrall are under-rated, particularily as stay at home defence.

Western Elite said...

You could be right and we like those players too. The whole team has talent. Should be a good tournament!

Anonymous said...

Sakatchewan has alot of talented players that are at the same level as the 4 or 5 top players from the Junior Blades and some are even better seeing the ice, complete players.